Clinging to God

small-hand-in-large-handPsalm 63: 6-11

“On my bed I remember you;  I think of you through the watches of the night.  Because you are my help, I sing in the shadow of your wings.  My soul clings to you;  your right hand upholds me.” (63: 6-8, emphasis mine)

Have you noticed how everything seems worse at night?  You might have bobbed above an ocean of despair all day long, only to drown in it when you head hits the pillow that night.  David had a lot to think about when he laid down to sleep.  Absalom… his own son… was also his enemy.  He was seeking to kill him.  That should be enough to keep anyone up all night.   But it doesn’t require physical threat to rob us of our ZZZ’s.   Our emotional pain and our other problems as well flare up at night like a spiking fever.

And yet, I have found comfort in David’s words here.  He concludes this Psalm with faithful trust in a loving God.  You see, David took advantage of these nighttime moments to focus on God.
“I meditate on Thee in the night watch.”  The term meditate here means to “muse or ponder.”   What do we usually meditate on in the night?  We usually wear out our minds chasing down the day’s injustices, like:   “How could they have said that about me?”  “How could life be so unfair?.” and  “How will my family survive my layoff?”  Fair questions… but the lack of attainable answers (you’re in bed remember?) will leave your mind racing all night.

For David, God was all he desired and all that would satisfy Him (v.5).  That is why He gave his all to God even in the night.  When God is all that you desire, you let Him sort things out. (vv. 9-11)

Remember these thoughts from saints of yesteryear:

“I cannot read; I cannot think; I cannot even pray; but I can trust.”  –  J. Hudson Taylor suffering mental and physical breakdown upon hearing that 58 of his missionaries and 21 children in China were massacred.  (Pray Magazine, Mar/Apr 2008, p. 22.)

When you can’t trace His hand you can trust His heart.  –   Charles Spurgeon  (Quoted by Robert J. Morgan in The Promise, p. 53.

I know it is hard.  I’ve had those nights… still having them.  But in the battle surrender to trust.  CLING TO GOD as though He were your only protection.  In the end… He is indeed all we need.

Asking: The Rule of the Kingdom

James 4:2-3

A sweet grandmother telephoned Mount Sinai Hospital. She timidly asked, “Is it possible to speak to someone who can tell me how a patient is doing?”  The operator said “I’ll be glad to help, Dear. What’s the name and room number?”  The grandmother in her weak tremulous voice said, “Holly Finkel in room 302.”  The Operator replied, “Let me check. Oh, good news. Her records say that Holly is doing very well. Her blood pressure is fine; her blood work just came back as normal and her physician, Dr. Cohen, has scheduled her to be discharged on Tuesday.”

The Grandmother said, “Thank you. That’s wonderful! I was so worried! God bless you for the good news.”  The operator replied, “You’re more than welcome. Is Holly your daughter?”  The Grandmother said, “No, I’m Holly Finkel in 302. Dr.Cohen doesn’t tell me anything!”  (Unknown Author)

Sometimes we live with a mentality that God is like that doctor… constantly holding out on us.  James teaches the opposite.  In chapter 1:5 he says:  “If anyone lacks wisdom let him ask of God, who gives generously…”  And today’s passage informs us that God longs to meet our personal needs.  And sometimes we don’t get what we need from God, because we neglect to ask Him.  “Whether we like it or not, asking is the rule of the kingdom.” (Charles Spurgeon)

Some Bible teachers will tell you that as you mature in the art of prayer, you will eventually stop asking God for things.  This seems to be contradicted by Jesus himself, who taught us to pray:  “Give us this day our daily bread.”  It appears Jesus did not outgrow asking… and He encourages each of us to “always pray and not give up.” (Luke 18:1-8 – Parable of the Persistent Widow)

Now James gives us a piece of advice about petitionary prayer.  As when you pray for wisdom you are not to doubt He will answer (1:6), here you are not to petition God displaying greed… “that you might spend what you get on your pleasures.”  Petitionary prayer is not so you can get ahead of the other guy.  It is most often praying for the other guy.  It is the selfless prayer… for your true needs and for the needs of others that gets noticed.

Got a serious need?  The rule of the kingdom is asking.